Photo of the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Boston Bruins at PNC Arena. 

Image Credit: Virtkitty/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that they will be honoring the Hartford Whalers by wearing the defunct team’s old green uniforms for two games vs. the Boston Bruins.Those games will take place on December 23, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh and on March 5, 2019 at the TD Garden in Boston. The Hartford Whalers relocated to North Carolina in 1997 after struggling with financial and attendance woes in Hartford, Connecticut. The Hurricanes will be donning the green jerseys the Whalers wore between the 1985 and 1991 NHL seasons. The Boston Bruins were the Hartford Whalers’ primary rival during the franchise’s tenure in Connecticut.

As you might imagine, Connecticut residents who are old enough to remember the Whalers were not thrilled about the move. However, new Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon previously expressed interest in honoring the Carolina Hurricanes’ hockey heritage and has decided to host “Whalers Night” at PNC Arena this December. The Carolina Hurricanes are joint-owners of the Hartford Whalers logo and will be able to capitalize on Hartford Whalers merchandise.

The Carolina Hurricanes have played in Raleigh, North Carolina for 21 years now, surpassing the 18 years the team spent in Hartford, Connecticut. There are efforts to revive the Hartford Whalers as either an expansion team or via the relocation of another team. Those efforts gained more momentum after the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg and became the second installment of the Winnipeg Jets. The city of Quebec City, Quebec are on a similar path and hope to launch the second installment of the Quebec Nordiques who went on to become the Colorado Avalanche.

Will the city of Hartford ever be able to secure an NHL team? Don’t count on it. The Northeast is already a saturated region for professional hockey with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils. Hartford is also in dire straits financially and doesn’t have the corporate presence needed to sustain a professional sports franchise.

 

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